The U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, approved several modifications of the standards governing patient care within Alabama's mental health institutions. The court approved an expansion of the definition of "qualified mental health professionals," thus increasing the number of potential staff members while maintaining quality care. The court also approved a streamlined version of prior standards of development, implementation, supervision, and review of patient treatment plans. The court further allowed limitations in the state's ability to physically restrain and seclude patients. Finally, the court approved revised guidelines pertaining to the Extraordinary Treatment Committee, which determines the suitability of electroconvulsive treatment procedures for patients who are incompetent to consent to such treatment. These modifications, which constituted an agreement between representatives of mental health patients and the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, are expected to improve the standard of care for patients committed to state mental health facilities.